tv Quadriga - International Debate from Berlin LINKTV January 9, 2022 10:30pm-11:01pm PST
anchor: heo and a warm welcome to one of the stories that maden. headlines this year was the fires that ravaged the mediterranean this summer. the blazes were triggered by a series of prolonged heat waves. the greek island of evia was one of the worst hit areas. massive fires scorched vast swathes of forest, as well as hundreds of houses, leaving many residents homeless. experts say that climate change contributed to turning evia, which is northeast of athens, into a tinderbox.
the connection between global warming and raging forest fires is becoming more evident to scientists. following the blazes, the greek government promised to deliver aid quickly to those affected. but months on, residents like zoe chalasti have yet to see any compensation. they are unable to move forward with their lives trapped in a state of disbelief and -- in a state of frustration. >> the front of their bakery is still intact. everything in the fire. they've manad to cleanp a bit, but ty still ha no id what the ture holds ined, they a almost asuncertn aust when weirst met tm. many parts of the northern part of the island of evia were still on fire and rescue operations were underw. the locals had never seen such an infer.
and todathey feel abanned. >> we still haven't received any help. the state has given us nothing. all the equipment burned and thbuildingas damaged an enginr has estited damages worth 38 thousand euros. >> luckily, the flames stopped at the village. but now the locals are worried that other disasters loom. >> for example, floods and landslides due to heavy rain. after all, the forests around us have all burnt down. me people e already arming thd and metal barriers to survive us havthe winter. down. this is our new worry. >> at least the thorities e trying to create makeshift
barriers to protect against landslides, using the trees that survived. a third of the island's entire forest burned down, over 50,000 hectares. vangelis georgantzis earns his living from the forest, more precisely, frothe resin of pine trees. tincluding paints, plastics,s usedmedicine and cosmetics. evia accnted for 8 of the pine resinroduced inreece. >> it is sickening to see this beautiful landscape all charred. many of myolleagues say it would have bn better iour houses had burned down rather than the forest. >> experts estimate that i will take about 30ears until the forests are restored. though georgantzis knows that
climate change is partly responsible for the devastation, he does not have ch faith ithe governnt's environment policies and plans for renewables. >> the right regions have to be selected. you cat disfigurthe mountains here with ugly windparks that will be around for generations. just because some people want to make money. >>reek primeiniste kyriak mitsotakiannounced just november at hwoulde want to inst massivey. to me eece cmate neutr. the al is toave 55% wer co2 emissions by 2030. ev researche at the academy of athens say that this is a very ambitious goal. however, they also say that it
will be terrible if nothing is done. >> then greece would be much warmer, with more frequent extreme events, the cost of which would exceed, at the end of the century, 700 billion euros. >> a monstrous sum that greece could barely afford. that's whyt is urgt, says zoe chalasti back on evia. >> sething has to happen, fast. there are these climate change conferences. but i think we have to start withhe young generation. children should learn about nature and the environment from as young as possible. anlearn how to protect the -- prect them. >> for now, however, the inhabitants of evia still have
to deal with the impact of the fire, while at the same ti praring for y future man-made castrophes. t>> the climate crisis is also fichanging the landscape in spain's ebro delta. there, global warming is causing a very different problem. in the river estuary, rising sea levels are threatening to swallow low-lying areas. the government's solution? to buy large swathes of privately-owned land and build sand dunes to hold back the sea. it's a plan that environmentalists support. but the rice farmers who rely on the land do not. they are fighting to keep their livelihoods and heritage. >> right here, says jose juan sorribes, is where his neighbor's holiday home once stood. today, all that's left is this winter srm last ye.wasestrg they have become more and more common.
rribes ss they shoclimate change is creasingly they have become more and more endangering spais ebro delta. for years, locals have demanded better coastal protections, but their calls have fallen on deaf ears. >> the storms and authorities inaction are harming us. they won't let people in the ebro delta protect their land. our hands are tied, as we can' do anything withouan official something, anything, must peidone.. locals are growing desperate. extreme weather events and lile more th this strip of land near the river delta. it is the last linof defense between the sea and the
countless rise paddies that lie inland. the spanish government wants to nationalize over 800 hectares of privately-owned land to turn it into an additional buffer zone. but the plan angers local rice farmers. sorribes fears he could lose half of his crops. and 's not cle what sortf compensation he would receive in return. most farmers are n only concerned about financial losses though. >> this ismotion. in many cases, rice fields have been passed on for many generations. i worked very hard to get mine. the government's plan doesn't bode well for the delta. in fact, it will destroy the delta d our valu. >> but not everyone opposes the government's plan.
envinmentalistregard the delt >> butimportant wetlands.es the over 300 bird species inhabit the region. sofia rivaes runs a private bird sanctuary. she thinks there's no point in piling up tons of sand, or dumping wave breakers in the sea, as farmers are demanding. >> the predominant mentality was to expit nature the fullest en practicly the tire deltaas transrmed into rice fields. now, it's time for change. but noeveryonepproves of this. scntists say natur solutions are better suited to reducing the effects of climate change. denyg this is like denying covid. >> for a long time, environmenl groups he been
protesting against another, related problem. the ro rivers carryingess and le sediment to the delta. that's because dozens of dams further upriveare keeping the mud back. and mud is what the delta is that's becmade of.ens of dams at this rally, demonstrators pour soil into the diver to the -- t river to e highligh that whout natur sediments the deltwill be atven grear risk froclimate change. >> is very important to restore -- it is very important to restore the river's ecological impact. otherwise, it will be extremely difficult to offset the effects oflimate chang specificaygical the flooding, and loss of land. >> rice farmer sorribes and his friends, meanwhile, could not digree more. they don want to spend years for thriver to cry more sediment instead, they are expecting the
afteall, other countes are ready protting the astlines, they say. >> we cod fa serious economic decline, for instance in the construction sector. if that's allowed to happen, who will invest in our dta? locals are divided er how deal withhe threat imate chan and the eroding ebro delta. though it might be too late if they wait until vironmentalists, farmers and the government reach a consensus. the next winter storm is always just around the corner. host: enjoying a carefree winter holiday on the slopes is still a challenge with coronavirus infections rising in parts of europe. last season in the alps, the tourist industry was hard-hit and now hopes are high that all goes smoothly on the piste.
pandemic regulations in germany and austria are strict for wintersports enthusiasts. but at swiss ski resorts, guests have it much easier. most restrictions have given way to convenience including for the unvaccinated. >> high up in the swiss alps, the ski season is open, amid hopes that the covid pandemic won't reach this far. at 3000 meters on the slopes of the titlis, the sun shines bright on the snow. skiers strap on the slats and take off. most are still local residents. the ski instructors have the time to polish their own technique. hopes live on for a good winter season with fewer restrictions for guests, including those from germany. >> last year, we set our own rules for the ski areas. they opened up, and that proved the right way to go. as we know, the risk of infection isn't as large
outdoors. you only have to impose the restrictions for closed spaces, for the cable cars. >> down in the valley, the hotel and restaurant owners are also looking forward to a good winter season. for most of them, it is the peak season. >> we made preparations as if nothing were out of the ordinary. we are fully staffed and prepared for a normal winter and, we hope, for a good winter. >> the restrictions imposed in switzerland are generally lighter than in most other countries. skiers are not currently required to be vaccinated, tested or recovered to go out on the slopes. >> of course, we are hoping we will be able to carry on with the measures already in place. if any further steps prove necessary, we will implement them in a way that affects the guests as little as possible, or so they don't have to feel restricted. >> the cable cars are crowded, and passengers on the train up
to the titlis have to wear masks. but nobody asks if they've been tested or vaccinated or nursed through to recovery. and should passengers ever be required to show a corona certificate, the alpine railways are prepared. >> we believe that making a certificate a requirement would be much, much easier than limiting the capacity for the cable cars and cabins. that creates major problems, long lines of people standing close together, and we don't want that. host: but even now, hungry skiers who like to have lunch in the resort lodge or just enjoy the view have to produce certificates showing they are vaccinated, recovered or tested. it is the same requirement for all eating establishments in switzerland. the certificate closely resembles the one required by the eu. critics take it as symptomatic of a nanny state than restricts personal freedoms. >> i hope the vaccinated and the unvaccinated will be able to use the slopes together since we will be outdoors. i think the people who are going skiing feel healthy. so, it ought to work.
>> only skiers with a certificate showing they are vaccinated should be able to enter, and then we would be free. that's my wish. >> one hotel owner in the valley is already considering voluntarily requiring the certificates. it would be stricter than swiss laws demand, but easier. allowing more freedoms requires more complicated rules. patrons of a hotel restaurant have to produce certificates, but overnight guests at the same hotel don't have to be vaccinated or tested. >> we are in a never-ending clinch between hospitality and the rules. of course, we try to make it as pleasant as possible for our guests. that's essentially our job. but if i could choose, then requiring the certificates would probably be the most practical way. >> the ski season is getting underway in switzerland, but the country is sticking to its own rules at least for as long as it can. host:
most tourists traveling to switzerland will at least still need to provide a negative covid-19 test. 30 years ago, thsoviet union broke apart and 15 independent nations emerged, including ukraine. moscow and kyiv have sinced forged very different paths causing a major rift between them. and tensions are flaring up again. for the past seven years, a war has been raging between the ukrainian army and russian separatists in the eastern region of donbass. miner sergei sobol and his family are among the hundreds of thousands of civilians who have fled the war-torn area. poverty is rife but sergei keeps his family afloat with
his work underground. >> sergei sobol is a miner. he works 300 meters underground, in ukraine's stepnaya mine. >> it waand remaindangerous. whe safe, do our jobs and get home stepsafely.ne. >> by we, he means the 300 odd men who work shifts in the mine, that operates 24/7. he has been working here for four years now, but he has been a miner for much longer. >> i am from a mining dynasty. my father and grandfather worked in the mines. we are proud of giving our compatriots heating and electricity. >> the stepnaya mine has been in operation for over 50 years.
iand continued to providecoln regular wages to its employees. this is not to be assumed in eastern raine. a mineper month.ns the ea lot of money in this poor region. >> hey, tolyan. you are so brown. have you been on holiday? >> when i was a kid, i would hear words like mine, miners and i would see men wearing make-up, at least that's what i thought. today, my team is like my family. >> his own family symbolizes the fate of ukraine as a whole. the 35-year-old is from donbass where war between pro-russian separatists and the ukrainian army has raged since 2014. when his mine shut down because of the war in 2017, he and his
family fled to the west, to the small town of pershotravensk. >> there are hardly any jobs left there. almost everyone has gone, except the old people. >> according to the un, over 13,000 people have died in seven years of war. and though theres a peac agreement, the conflict frequently flares up. right now, the whole world is waiting to see what will happen as russian troops continue to amass on the border. >> i didn't want my child to be born in a place where people have to be scared of going to work, where bombs keep going off. >> the donbass conflict was preceded by what is known as the revolution of dignity, or the maidan revolution, a
violent uprising in the ukrainian capital kyiv in 2014 that ended with the overthrow of the pro-russian president. afterwards, the new pro-western government turned away from its soviet past and opted for europe. but this is not easy. particularly in eastern ukraine, which is dominated by the coal industry. most of the mines are in areas controlled by the separatists. only four of the remaining ones turn a profit. including the stepnaya mine. ukraine also shifng awayn in thom coal.time. the fate of the thousands of families who depend on coal is thus uncertain. and sergei sobol has mixed
feelings when he goes underground. especially when he thinks about the past. >> the miners had a good life in the soviet union. ukraine was rich then. but in the years of independence, our country was plundered and depleted. >> sergei sobol is not alone in harboring these feelings in eastern ukraine. on the other hand, nobody wants to turn back the clocks and return to the ussr. >> livg in a rur area as a ten to stave off boredom. so how to look cool while having fun? for swedish teens, it looks like this and unlike most vehicles in the country, these can already be driven at the age of 15. but instead of the fast and the furious, these teenagers are
laid back on the road. >> normally, 16 and 17-year-olds in the town of avesta, central sweden, only go on foot in emergencies. otherwise, they drive. but the cars they drive are no ordina ones, eveif thecan rethe engineall they wt and equip them with high-end sound systems. >> my name is daniel hassona, i live here in avesta, and drive a volvo. >> at age 16, daniel wldn't allowed to drive his volvo on his own. but in sweden, he is. the vehicle is called an epa tractor. named after a discount chain, it is synonymous with cheap tractor. but for world young people, it is the most popular car and handy for getting to and from school. >> it is much easier to drive the epa to school, especially when you just have to get there and back. and it is fun besides.
you can meet friends, you can drive wherever you want, you are just free. >> and they use their freedom. they can go for lunch at the local burger joint instead of the school cafeteria. all they need is a moped license, which they can get at age 15. an epa looks like a regular car, but it moves a lot slower. >> the better you get, the more fun it is. and the driving practice helps when you go for your proper drivers license. >> the cars have only two gears, no back seats and a maximum speed of thirty kilometers per hour, obliging them to hug the road's edge. but they are not popular with everyone. the sight of that red hazard warning triangle in the rear window has been known to trigger road rage in other drivers. >> collions can definitelyar window haoccur. known to that's why the warning triangle is so important. it shows that this is a slow-moving vehicle. it has to be plainly visible. >> when the teenagers are not out cruising in their epas,
they are often here, at the school's own car repair shop. everyone here is taking automotive engineering and learning how cars work. but there is one part they are not allowed to fiddle with. >> you recognize the epas by this box here. they keep the vehicle from driving any faster than 30 kilometers per hour. you are not allowed to open it. it has to stay locked, as you see here. >> daniel has other problems to deal with. a cable in the radiator hood is giving him trouble. >> so, we will have to shorten this hose a little to lower it. that way, the cable won't rub against it up above any more. >> sweden has a long tradition of giving their old cars lots of tender loving care. in the 1950s, converted used cars served as a cheap alternative to tractors in rural sweden. farmers youngsters were allowed
to drive them, and an idea was born, a degree of independence in the country where life is relatively slow-paced. >> quite a few of us had cars like this as teens. so they are a kind of cult that has persisted. they gave us mobility. and that was great. >> daniel's got his car up and running again, so he can take it back out on the road. when night falls in sweden, the old cars come into their own. the teens gather in parking lots and strut their stuff. there isn't that much else they can do with the weekend anyway. >> we might stay out till midnight or three in the morning. -- 3:00 in the morning. >> the main thing is to have some fun and loud music. in sweden, the epa cult is celebrated every weekend. host: well they certainly get an a for effort. thanks so much for watching "focus on europe." bye for now. [captioning performed by the